Three times in the Book of Revelation (3:12; 21:1; 21:10) is found the phrase New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. This matches the traditional Jewish concept of two Jerusalems, one above and one below. The descent of heavenly Jerusalem to be joined with earthly Jerusalem represents the final stage of the kingdom of God, the ultimate harmony between heaven and earth, and the full restoration of the Garden of Eden.
Compare the vision of Jerusalem descending with the Lord’s prayer, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:11). The desire for the kingdom to come is the heart of all intercession and ministry. How important it is to see the connection between the prayer for the kingdom to come and the ultimate fulfillment of that prayer in Jerusalem descending – Jerusalem descending is the kingdom coming!
The kingdom of God comes in three time stages: the present age, then the millenium, then the new earth. In our age the Kingdom comes within us (Luke 17:21); it is expressed in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17); it is evidenced by miracles of healing and deliverance (Matthew 12:28).
At the end of this age, Yeshua (Jesus) will return as a conquering king to set up His throne in Jerusalem. That stage of the kingdom is to last for 1,000 years. If we are to pray for the kingdom to come, we are in essence praying for the king of that kingdom to come. There is no kingdom without the king. Therefore the great prayer of the Church, Come Lord Yeshua (Revelation 22:20) is the logical extension of the prayer, Thy kingdom come.
[Note: Seeing the Jerusalem connection also shows the parallel between the prayer of the Church, Come Lord Jesus with the prayer of Israel, Blessed is He who comes (Matthew 23:39). They are actually one and the same prayer. Ultimately Israel and the Church will work in tandem to invite King Messiah to return and establish His kingdom on the earth.]
After the millenium, as after the flood of Noah, we will have a new earth. That new earth will be joined by the Jerusalem from above in the restoration of paradise, as before the fall of Adam.
Those three stages can be seen in the three heart desires for prayer:
- Now – Thy Kingdom come
- Next – Come Lord Yeshua
- Finally – New Jerusalem coming down
The three parts: the kingdom coming, Yeshua coming, and Jerusalem coming are essentially connected one to another. All three involve an element of God’s kingdom “coming” into this world from above. All involve getting God’s will out of heaven and “downloaded” into this earth. (In our personal life as well, we want to pray for God’s will and Spirit to be “downloaded” into our hearts on a daily basis.)
Now we get the spirit of the kingdom. Next we get the king of the kingdom. Finally we get the community and the conditions of the kingdom. While the kingdom is now a spirit within us, ultimately it will be a society around us. The kingdom progresses from a pure spirit inwardly to a perfect society outwardly.
A City to be Established
Abraham’s faith involved a long-term hope for a city whose architect is God (Hebrews 11:10). That city is the heavenly Jerusalem that will descend into the land promised to Abraham, where he walked as a foreigner, waiting for his inheritance and the establishment of that “city” to come. David called that city the “city of the great king,” “beautiful” and a “joy to all the earth” (Psalm 48:1-2). Yerushalayim, the Hebrew name for Jerusalem, means “the city of peace, perfection or completeness.”
Abraham and David’s seed, the Messiah, was to be the mayor of that city, the ruler of that perfect society where man and God would dwell in harmony. It is that Messianic king we are called to obey; His Spirit we are to receive, and His city we are to work to establish on this earth. In Him all things both in heaven and on earth will be brought together into one at the fullness of the dispensation of times (Ephesians 1:10). Who? Yeshua. Where? Yerushalayim. When? At the end.